The antagonistic activity of twenty five chickpea rhizobacteria were evaluated against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris as potential biocontrol agents. Eleven potential bioantagonists, 7 belonging to Pseudomonas and 4 to Bacillus genera showed significant growth inhibition of test fungus. In vitro screening for antagonistic functionality traits showed significant difference between production of volatile and diffusible antifungal metabolites. Maximum fungal inhibition due to diffusible metabolites was exhibited by isolate 24P(87%) whereas it was (47%) in case of volatile metabolites. Inhibition due to diffusible metabolites was maximum with isolate 24P (87%) than in case of volatile metabolites as 24P (47%). Isolates 24P, 30B and 5P were also most promising for plant growth stimulation and wilt control. Greenhouse experiments on two varieties of chickpea JG-62 and GPF-2 showed that seed treatment with PGPR+Mesorhizobium had an advantage on disease control and plant growth promotion as compared to use of single bioinoculants, 30B reduced the wilt incidence to 48% which was at par to fungicide treatment where the observed wilt incidence was 55.6% whereas, in the pathogen control the severity of wilt was 82.4%. Same trend of wilt incidence was followed in GPF-2 variety. Rhizobacterial isolates 30B and 24P, co-inoculated with Mesohizobium enhanced the shoot length up to 16.2 cm and 15.6 cm as compared to fungicide treatment (14.4 cm), thus showing a plant growth stimulation effect of potential bioantagonists, isolated from chickpea rhizosphere.
Antagonism, Chickpea, Fusarium, PGPR and Mesorhizobium
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